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Home Tour: A light-filled sanctuary on Abbot Kinney

Gibbens_2 Is it possible to live right on bustling Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice and still maintain a sense of privacy? Architect Dennis Gibbens' light-filled home proves it can be done.

Long a fan of urban living, Gibbens bought the empty Venice lot in 2005 and imagined building a Parisian-style townhouse where he could live above a shop. Though he likes the bustle of street life, he did not want it to permeate his home. So although the 650-square-foot Japanese art and design store Tortoise on the ground floor has large windows, the two-story living space above it is wrapped in a shell of board-formed concrete. 

The concrete keeps out sound and prying eyes, but it also keeps out light. To find out how Gibbens managed to keep the space bright anyway (hints: reflective surfaces, lots of skylights, central courtyard) -- read Emily Young's full story on the architect's "light filled cave," or see it for yourself on our virtual tour of Gibbens' Abbot Kinney home.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photos: In one of the smaller bedrooms, a glass wall allows more natural light to spill into the bath. Credit: Nazy Alvarez. The exterior of architect Dennis Gibbens' Abbot Kinney home is set above the storefront and back from the street, behind a concrete wall that also wraps the building's sides. Credit: Ryan Turner


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